Friday, July 11, 2008

The Teetering Bookstack . . .

Are you finding books listed here you might want to read? I hope so – I know I am!
Suzanne says, “I must say that I am pretty one-dimensional! I'm on a memoir kick and that's all I've been reading for months!”
Suzanne goes on to say, “I'm currently reading Nasty: My Family and Other Glamorous Varmints – yes, it sounds dubious. But it's very well-written and funny. The author, Simon Doonan, is a lot like David Sedaris or Augustin Burroughs – really witty and sarcastic and outrageous. He tells stories about growing up as a misfit in London.”
“Before that,” Suzanne goes on, “I read two books by Firoozeh Dumas, which I highly recommend. They're called Funny in Farsi and Laughing Without an Accent. It's about growing up Iranian in an American culture. It's very funny and perceptive and even a little heartwarming. I'd also recommend Finding Home: An Imperfect Path to Faith and Family by Jim Daly, who is the president of Focus on the Family. It's about his almost unbelievably difficult childhood and how he managed to come out of it, with wisdom to boot.”
And Jane – not the Jane in previous posts but a different Jane – says “I loved A Thread of Grace by Mary Doria Russell. It's the Bloomington/Normal summer read selection; I loved the book, loved the characters, learned a lot about a part of WWII I didn't know, which set me off to find out more about it. The story was brilliant and desperately sad, in fact I really wanted to cry when I finished it. Instead I felt angry that this really could have happened and probably lots of similar stories did happen.”
Jane is also reading Chosen and Infidels from Ted Dekker's The Lost Chronicles of History series. She says “These are the first 2 in a 4-book set. I am waiting for the junior high kid I teach to finish book 3 so I can read it. They are youth fiction/Christian and really good stories; it actually reminds me a little bit of Dune which I loved in junior high and high school.”
The View from Mount Joy by Lorna Landvik is also on Jane's bookstack. “I liked the story, liked the crafting of the characters, did not like the Kristi Casey character, or the subtle tone that evangelicals are all morons who believe everything they hear. But the book made me laugh out loud, cringe, and feel empathy for the characters. Overall, a decent summer read.”
Two more books Jane is enjoying include Music Through the Eyes of Faith by Harold Best, and Christianity For the Rest of Us by Diana Butler Bass. Jane says, “Music Through the Eyes of Faith is a great book I am reading as I have time; one of the chapters has a thought provoking discussion on contemporary music and the issues surrounding the music industry.
Christianity for the Rest of Us is a book for our church summer reading group. I am still in the first half and am a little put off again by the narrow minded attitude towards the evangelical movement. What I find most disturbing is that she takes an us-against-them attitude, again subtle. She has some great profiles of living mainline Protestant churches, and the 10 things that they have that work for them. It is well written and it is challenging my thoughts about what I truly believe about churches. I am interested to hear what the others in my group think as well.”
That's one of the best things about reading, I think – the opportunity to read something, consider it, then share what you think about it with someone else who is interested, who has an opinion of her own.
Among other things, a book is a privilege . . .

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